Are you frantically juggling the many things you have to do, often wishing, “If only I had more time…?” Now there’s a way and all you have to do is pick up the phone to make it happen.
I recently caught up with Abbie Allen, the founder of ifestyle Elements, a personal and corporate concierge service. Abbie set up her company 8 years ago to provide practical support and relief for busy people juggling the everyday challenges of managing work and life. With my passion for helping busy people thrive on the 21st century treadmill I wanted to know more.
Imagine having your very own personal assistant for life
A personal concierge can take care of all those tasks on your to-do list so you can focus on what’s most important to you. For example:
- Would you rather be at work or having to take a precious annual leave day to wait for the phone company? A personal concierge will wait for the phone company and arrange all the details for you!
- Would you rather be taking your kids to the zoo or dragging them to the supermarket? A personal concierge will trawl the supermarket aisles and pop into the baker and fruit & veg shop before delivering and unpacking it all for you!
- Would you rather spend your lunch break catching up with a friend or researching the purchase of a new fridge? A personal concierge will not only research different fridge options for you and provide you with a detailed report, they can then arrange the purchase, delivery and removal of your old fridge.
Wow, imagine the relief of having your concierge take care of those tasks you’re dreading asking your mum, dad or a friend to help out with … just this once, pleeease!
No job too big, small or unusual – all you have to do is ‘just ask’
Where in the past you may have employed a cleaner, gardener or babysitter, a personal concierge can take care of organising these and many other tasks and services for you. Whether it’s grocery shopping, laundry pick up & delivery, pet care, home care when you’re away or general errand running, no request is too big, small or bizarre!
To discover the extent of what a personal concierge will do, I asked Abbie about the most ‘unusual request’ she’s received. “I always find this a challenging question as it’s rare that we are surprised or stumped!” Some of the more unusual requests (all in a day’s work for Lifestyle Elements), include:
- Arranging the delivery of turf lawn to a client’s children’s primary school
- Organising a security guard for a 21st birthday party (a common request)
- Delivering a bunch of flowers at the last minute on a Sunday evening in Adelaide for a client who was in the United States
- Coordinating emergency carpet cleaning after a client’s garage was flooded
- Taking a dog to the airport for an interstate flight.
Personal Concierge – a luxury or a necessity?
Far from being a luxury, clients who use Lifestyle Elements services see it as a life saver for managing their busy lives – a service they can’t live without. Abbie’s clients invest in her service because it improves the quality of their life, their family’s life, or their employees’ lives.
Many people actually save or earn more when they employ a personal concierge. For example, a personal concierge will thoroughly research and shop for products helping their clients get better value and avoid ‘impulse buying’ because they simply don’t have time to shop around. By outsourcing many of the time consuming but necessary tasks to a personal concierge you free up considerable time, become more productive at work and potentially earn more.
More importantly, when you’re doing better things with your time – being with your family and friends, doing something you love, the value is priceless. Add your hourly rate to the cost of each routine but necessary task you’re currently doing to see what it’s really costing you.
Help for anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Not just for the rich and famous, a personal concierge provides a lifeline for just about anyone including executive couples, working families, single parents, business owners, family carers or people who travel a lot for work. Lifestyle Element’s services are also offered through corporate programs to reduce stress and pressure and make life easier for employees.
Based in Adelaide, Lifestyle Elements work for clients all over the world. They offer many of their services via phone and internet and are well connected to a global network of concierge providers who provide ‘on the ground’ services. Lifestyle Elements also offer gift vouchers, which is a wonderful way to help out a new mum, someone recovering from an illness or even a welcome birthday gift for a busy friend.
What to look for when you’re engaging a personal concierge.
Although Abbie welcomes enquiries from anyone, anywhere, she’s provided the following tips to find a safe, reliable and professional concierge service in your local area:
- Make sure they have relevant security checks, such as a police check.
- Ensure they hold relevant insurance such as public liability, professional indemnity and/or relevant motor vehicle insurance if they will be driving your vehicle
- Can they provide recommendations from clients?
- Are they flexible and willing to meet your needs?
- Do you and your family feel comfortable with them? Do they make an effort to get to know you? Do they like animals?
- Will you be able to communicate effectively with them to ensure your to-do list gets done?
So how does Abbie think this type of service is likely to change in the future? “A personal concierge service will be used by households almost as much as a cleaner or gardener – an integral part of our everyday lives. I can’t see that life will slow down or the demands on our time will lessen. However, the way we spend time will greatly improve as more people experience personal concierge services.”
One of the keys to successfully redesigning your life is to build a great support team. If ‘too busy’ has become a way of being for you, invite a personal concierge to become your extra pair of hands.
PS. I'm not an affiliate of Lifestyle Elements and receive no payment for this endorsement. I approached Abbie for this blog because I think the personal concierge service is a great idea for busy people.
Abbie Allen founded Lifestyle Elements, a personal concierge service, in 2003 when she saw an ever increasing need to provide a practical service to support our busy lives. From errand running and pet care to travel bookings and event management, Lifestyle Elements is a modern response to the dilemma of not having enough time in the day. Abbie also delivers speeches and workshops in the areas of Work Life Balance, Time Management and Women in Business.